Forge On - Ship Construction 026 (New Ship Generation)

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Procedural ship generation for the enemy ships! I'm considering adding a function to do this for the player as well; it would get people up and running pretty quickly.


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Forge On Combat 010 (New Enemy Ships)

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Exploration followed by combat with new AI / Enemy ships. Enemy ships are procedurally generated, had to get that working again with the new build system. Might post a video about that in the near future here I like how they turned out. Thinking about adding a random function for the player too (at least for the next build).

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Forge On - Exploration 002 (More POI)

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Starting to get a feel for what the primary exploration game-play might feel like! Check it out. Starting to shape up well. Still need to get some more diversity both in the placement and asteroids.

A big chunk of this week was spent making sure the placement/generation of objects doesn't adversely affect the frame-rate. So far so good!


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Forge On - POI 004 (Fully Procedural Asteroids)

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I was hoping to get more "stuff" in the area generation this week but it turns out I needed to do build infrastructure to get that to work correctly.  Got that done though so hopefully next week.

 In the mean time:

 Check out the procedural generation of the asteroid meshes.  Shouldn't have to worry about exploring the same asteroid twice!


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Forge On - Exploration 001 (LOD System)

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Demonstration of the Levels of Detail, smooth loading and the start of something... big.

 Starting to populate the areas around planets. Right now it's fairly linear but I hope to have something more interesting soon. The asteroids shown are procedurally generated without any framerate loss. Pretty happy with that. Hope to get more in there this coming week.


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Forge On - Travel 007 (Jump Drive Precision)

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Showing off fast travel and the scale of the universe. That asteroid is over 8.5 million kilometers away in game. Pretty fast traveling if you ask me.

Looking at getting the Point of Interest system up and running next week. Once that's done the game will really start shaping up.


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Forge On - Travel 006 (Fast Travel)

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Still working out the bugs, but here's a sneak peak at what fast travel should look like.


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Forge On - Ship Construction 025 (Group Selection and Lasers!)

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Added some cool new features with this build. Group selection is a thing now, you can select a parent part and all of it's children will follow. I've also added weapons back in!

 Having a tough time figuring out what to do with all those connection lines. They need to be visible but probably not all at the same time. There are some that need to be seen through parts (so another part can be inserted between two parts) so that complicates things. Anyone have any ideas on this?


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Forge On - Ship Construction 024 (Integrated Build System)

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Integrated the new build system into the game. Should be able to create some interesting ships with it. Took a few things out to get this integrated for the week but should be able to reintegrate those soon.


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Forge On Points Of Interest - 003 (Destroyed Parts)

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Took a small break this week to work on another POI. Procedurally created/destroyed ship parts. These will hide various parts for the player to find. They will look different each time they are found too.

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Forge On - Ship Construction 23 (Advancing New Ideas)

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Further improvements to the new construction system. Starting to look like a ship again. I've also been able to flush out a lot of the game mechanics this week that were causing me trouble. Which I hope means production on the actual game (not just tech) will commence!

 Should be more clear what the system will be capable of now. Thoughts?


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Forge On - Ship Construction (New Build Scheme)

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I would like building ships to be far easier than they are currently so I'm testing out a new idea.



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Forge On - POI 002 (Asteroids In Game)

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It's been an interesting week, was looking at various aspects of the game and ended up putting in some more work into the ship movement of all things. There is always room for improvement.

I've also added a full asteroid to the scene, gives some real perspective on to how it might be used. My plans at the moment are to add interesting things inside some of these asteroids. Materials / enemies, etc.

I've also fixed the triplanar shader I am using for the asteroids (both destructible and non). I suspect some of you will be able to see the difference immediately.


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Forge On - POI 001 (Asteroids)

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Adding some points of interest for the players. What would a space game be without something to explore? This asteroid is almost entirely procedurally generated; once completed it will be entirely so.


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Forge On - Travel 005 (Camera First Approach)

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This video demonstrates the new Camera First movement scheme being used in Forge On.

Thank you to all of those people who took the time to play the tech demo and give your feedback. I believe it will greatly enhance the gameplay. This change is certainly evidence of that.


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Forge On - Fun With Cylinders

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Working on a procedural mesh. There are a couple things I would like to try to use these with, but I thought someone might find it interesting.

 Don't forget to check out the Pre-Alpha Tech Demo at:
http://www.indiedb.com/games/forge-on/downloads/pre-alpha-tech-demo1


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Forge On - Gameplay 001 (Simple Demonstration)

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I have all of the pieces in that I wanted for the pre-alpha tech demo I will be releasing. Here is a brief preview of the gameplay. The demo should be available in a bit at IndieDB.

http://www.indiedb.com/games/forge-on


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Forge On - Combat 009 (Upgrading)

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Lots new in this video! Better combat, part collection / discovery, better ship movement and more! Hope to have a playable demo (with minimal feature set) out next week.



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Forge On - Ship Construction 21 (New UI)

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I've been thinking about a way to connect ship parts together to create a more cohesive ship and I think I have something. I won't be releasing it as part of the initial demo because I want to get that out soon but I think it will drastically improve the looks of the ships.

 Anyway, for this week I've got UI working the way I want. Haven't added components yet but that will come soon. I've added a lot of the background infrastructure required to be able to collect parts and resources. Not much left before a full game "cycle" can be completed.


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Forge On - ShipConstruction 020 (Async Enemy Construction)

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Enemy ship construction is working well. I might want to upgrade the connection capabilities in the future, and the engine placement needs a few tweaks but I'm very happy with it.

(1) I need to get the fight ready / Dropping items
(2) Need to set up an temporary inventory system
(3) Setup a cost system for building ships Once these are done I plan on releasing a very, very early version for people to try.


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Forge On - ShipConstruction 019 (Some polish)

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Continuing work on the ship construction interface. It's getting closer to where I would like it to be. Still a number of minor bugs I want to deal with. Seems like I'm going to continue to find these flaws for a while yet.


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Forge On - Travel 004 (Thruster Improvement)

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Doing more background work this week. Mostly performance tweaks; the game was experiencing some slow down in the builder, you might be able to notice it in the previous video but it was quite obvious while playing it.

 I did manage to update the thruster effects and the background visuals for the video this week.

 I think the thrusters are much nicer now. Any thoughts?


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Forge On - Ship Construction 018 (A Little Context)

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This should give a pretty good idea of what the gameplay is going to be like. I'm quite happy with this as the core. Looks like I will need to do some optimization for the build system, it's a little slow when there are a lot of parts on the go. Please do check it out.



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Forge On - ShipConstruction 017 (Rotations / Mirroring)

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Hrm, well I started out this week thinking I would try to get the enemy ships loading in smoothly but turns out they are a little too computationally expensive to do that. So down the rabbit hole I went; I managed to build a threaded system that will generate (and store!) the ship parts dynamically. What does this mean? no more hitches on the main thread for one. But as a big fat bonus shared meshes!

All that being said, there's not much I can actually show regarding that, but I did manage to come up with a few improvements to the build system I think you may enjoy. I've added rotations and mirroring which I believe vastly improves the overall build system. I suspect mirroring will be on by default, perhaps non-toggle-able. Any thoughts?



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Forge On - Travel 003 (Smooth Controls)

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I've finally have the ship movement at a place where I like it. The ship controls far smoother control is far smoother and I feel like the ship is responding the way I would expect it to!

 To be honest I was really hoping to have a demo-able build by Monday but life got in the way.

 Soon though... soooon.


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Forge On - Mining (Freight Vessel)

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Added the placeholder for what will be the freight vessel. I've also given it some basic AI so it can help mine.


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Forge On - Combat 008 (First Fight)

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AI is now firing back. Somehow I just know this is going to cause me trouble as I develop new features.

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Forge On - Travel 003 (New Movement Scheme?)

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I've been trying out a new movement scheme, I like it better than the other but I still have a handful of bugs to sort out.  Check it out and let me know what you think.


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Forge On - Combat 007 (AI Follow)

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Second pass at the enemy ship AI. The AI is on the right. It's been a little tricky to get working because all of the movement is physically based, so enemy follows the same rules of the player. 

Anyone have experience working on this sort of AI? I like where I have it but I would like to take it further. Any advice would be appreciated.

 Currently I'm using a blackboard system with 3 experts, one for travel, one for avoidance and one for targeting at close distance. Happy to go into details if anyone is interested.


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Forge On - Combat 006 (Simple AI)

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Follow the leader.  Finally got the enemy ships generating with engines and started working on their AI.  Enemy AI is a little simple at the moment but it has to start somewhere, should be far more interesting in the coming weeks.


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Forge On - ShipConstruction 016 (Core Details)

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Thrusters are now built based on core placement! Each core will provide thrust based on where and how it's positioned.


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Forge On - ShipConstruction 015 (Components)

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First look at adding components to the ships. Should give you some idea of how engines will be added. Ultimately this is what I decided to go with. The engine cores have to be redone and the engines will eventually only cover the area they are assigned. One jet will be assigned to each core. Obviously work to be done there.

 What do you think?



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Forge On - Video Ship Construction - 014 (New Part Variation)

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Added another part variation, still some work to do but I'm happy with it so far.

 The parts of the game I have been working on the last little while have primarily been precursor to work on the AI. Getting ships generating, engines working and placing correctly and so on. So I really hope to be able to get some AI work done in the next couple weeks. Once I have combat working and maybe a temporary inventory system up and running (and some sfx) I will be looking at making a test build to see what everyone thinks of the core mechanics.


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Forge On - Ship Construction (The Next Steps)

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Random ship generation this week, so that I will have something to work with when programming the AI. Movement code should now be at the point where it just needs a bit of polish. I'm very happy about this, you have no idea!

 I have decided on what to do regarding the engine generation. The engines will be components just like weapons or shields. The player will pick up engine cores rather than the whole engine. These cores when placed together will generated a more complex engine structure similar to what I have in the video here. I would like to have some mobility in the engines as well so I may end up making a component that will direct thrust, not sure on this yet but it would be a nice addition.

 So much to do, so much to do. Anyway random enemy ship generation is going well. Check out some of these new procedural creations.


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Forge On - Combat (Laser Pulse Testing)

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Testing one of the first weapon variants; currently only shooting at asteroids but I hope to have something more fun to shoot at soon.

 I spent a good chunk of the week working on my enemy build and AI systems (more the former than the latter). Hoping to have that up and running soon. Need something to shoot at to make a playable version worthwhile. I'm trying to construct the system in such a way that it will allow me to adjust how the engines are created after the fact. I'm still not sure I want them to be individual parts.



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Forge On - Movement (Camera Nuance + Smoother Controls)

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I'm starting to really like the ship movement now. The ships are now moving smoother with far more control. I've also added camera nuance has also been added to make things feel more natural. It has a little ways to go there are a few things about the movement that could feel better but I'm leaving it for now to working on more pressing problems. Something I haven't even thought about yet are the sound effects. That generally brings a game to life.


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Forge On - New Lasers!

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I've actually been working on ship movement again this week but I wanted to show you guys something cool so I added some fancy new lasers! Far superior to the old ones I would say.

 I have been trying to finalize some of the ship camera subtlety. Seeing as it's one of the most important things in the game I really want to get it right. There are a number of things I've been trying to incorporate including (but not limited to) quick combat / maneuvers, smooth and controlled motion, fast and sensible travel mechanics and controls that don't make the player feel like they have lost control over their ship. Additionally I need the ship to handle based on how the player has designed it. It's a really tall order. One which I have been thinking about since my first attempt at this game 3+ years ago but I think I've got it! The preliminary results are looking pretty good, just a few more tweaks and I can show it to you.

 Anyway, as promised lasers:


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Forge On - Movement (Trusters / Travel Mechanics)

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This week was one of those weeks where the focus was on what I'm not going to do. Still progress but unfortunately that means not a whole lot to show.

 The big thing this week was attempting to get the travel mechanics working the way I want them. It's been more tricky than I was hoping. Allowing the player to turn without drag (like you would normally in space) is not terribly fun. I would like the player to have far more control over their ship. Still haven't quite figured this part of the puzzle out yet but it's at the forefront of my mind. Any ideas?

I've decided I don't really like the final result I got when allowing players to connect multiple parts to a single connection area. I will still be keeping the connection areas; they should still make for a great way to augment various parts / weapons on the connection areas. Weapons and other parts will likely still be able to placed multiple to a single connection area. Guess that is something I will have to verify once I get to that point.

 In order to try to show something off this week I did some work on the thrusters. That's what I have show in this video. To be honest I'm far happier with this iteration of the thrusters. Thinking of adding a white core to the thrusters, thoughts?


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Forge On - Ship Construction (Multi-Connections)

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Connection areas are now able to support multiple connections. This important for making more complex ship designs but it also will allow the player to augment their ships components. I will be adding more part types as development progresses. Anything you would like to see? I have had a couple suggestions (1) Discs - Like a flattened sphere. (2) Hard-Edged Hex/Oct Prisms.

Still needs polish and there are number of glitches to fix, but the core mechanics of the game are really starting to come together.

I'm very interested in hear anyone's opinions/suggestions on the build mechanics, or really anything else you might like to see out of a this game. Thanks!


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Complex Ship Connections

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Creating more complex ship connections, I now have the infrastructure necessary to allow multiple parts to connect to a single connection area.  This is the reason I decided to go back and redo the connection areas in the first place.  I wasn't thrilled with limiting the player to a single connection per area.  

There are additional bonuses to doing things this way as well.  I will be able to introduce a more interesting build mechanic that involves placing parts on the nodes and getting bonuses based on how they are placed.  I will go into detail on this in future posts and as progress in this area continues.

I've also added "Travel Mode" for ship parts so that when traveling the circuit areas will be hidden.  I believe this makes the ships have a more finished appearance.  

What do you think?

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Mining In Forge On (And Infinite Travel)

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The hard edges between rock and the resources were bugging me so I wrote something to handle a smooth transition. I like it way more now, what do you think? Additionally I managed to get something working for infinite space travel. I'm still not sure if I want to go for seamless travel or not in Forge On but at least now I know I can.

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Forge On: Mining Resources

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Mining in Forge On


Sorted out the ability to mine out resources.  Added some particles, improved the mesh disintegration.  Changed the materials / lighting.  I'm starting to really like the way this looks, this physics needs a bit of work but otherwise I think the concept has been proven :D.




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First look at mining in Forge On

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The asteroid is generated using a single mesh, not currently using a chunk-based system however that is possible with this technique.

Each voxel's shape is determined by the voxels surrounding it and where reasonable mesh vertices are shared.  It gets a little complicated sharing verts so I opted to only share a few of them between voxels.

To be honest I'm not entirely sure if this method will be feasible in the long run but I like the potential.  I would like for the voxels to form more intelligently; creating slopes when attached to two voxels at perpendicular intersections for instance.  The reason I haven't done this yet is that it would cause the voxels to "snap" back when the corresponding neighbors are destroyed.  I have considered trying to get the voxels to mainain their "minimum" shape in each direction; it might solve the problem but I will have to give it some more thought.


Let me know what you think, or if you have any thoughts on a solution to this problem.

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